Appendix:Glossary of baseball jargon (G)

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The following is a glossary of baseball jargon (phrases, idioms and slang):

Appendix: Glossary of Baseball
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The space between outfielders. Also alley. A ball hit in the gap is sometimes called a gapper.
gap hitter[edit]
Hits with power up the alleys and tends to get a lot of doubles. A doubles hitter.
A fastball. "Give him (the batter) the gas"; as in stepping on a car's gas pedal to accelerate.
general manager[edit]
The general manager (GM) runs the organization of a baseball team (personnel, finance, and operations). Normally distinct from the field manager and the club owner.
get on one's horse[edit]
When a fielder (usually an outfielder) runs extremely fast towards a hard hit ball in an effort to catch it.
get good wood[edit]
To hit a ball hard. A batter who "gets good wood on the ball" or who "gets some lumber on the ball" hits it hard.
get off the schneid[edit]
To break a scoreless or hitless or winless streak (i.e., a schneid). According to the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term "schneid" comes to baseball via gin rummy, and in turn comes from German / Yiddish "schneider," one who cuts cloth, i.e., a tailor.
get to first base[edit]
To succeed in the initial step of something, such as getting a job interview or asking someone out on a date. Among American youth, it refers to kissing someone on a date. OED cites the first usage in 1938, the latter in 1962.[1] Similarly, to get to second base and to get to third base vaguely refer to more sexual acts, usually some form of making out, though some people may have very specific definitions of what each term means. Finally, to reach home means to have sex.
"Rather, he focused on the federal deficit, 'the most dire fiscal problem that this country has ever faced,' and suggested that careerism in politicians is to blame for the fact that 'as a working government, we cannot get to first base in solving' that problem." --David S. Broder.[2]
GIDP (Grounded into double play)[edit]
Statistical abbreviation for grounded into double play.
  • A baseball glove or mitt is a large padded leather glove that players on the defensive team wear to assist them in catching and fielding balls hit by a batter or thrown by a teammate. Different positions require different shapes and sizes of gloves. The term "mitt" is officially reserved to describe the catcher's mitt and the first-baseman's mitt. By rule, fielders other than the first-baseman and the catcher can only wear conventional gloves (with individual finger slots), not mitts. There is no rule requiring fielders to wear a glove or mitt, but the nature of the game normally renders it a necessity. A fielder may have to catch a ball bare-handed, if he loses his glove in pursuit of a ball, or otherwise finds himself at the wrong angle to use it. A video clip from 1989, that was included in several "amazing plays" videos, showed Kevin Mitchell of the San Francisco Giants catching a ball over-the-shoulder and barehanded.
  • Most batters nowadays wear leather batting gloves to improve their grip on the bat and provide a small amount of padding. This practice began in the 1960s when some batters began wearing golf gloves. Hawk Harrelson pioneered this practice. Additionally, some base-stealing artists, especially those who practice the head-first / hands-first slide, will wear specialized sliding gloves. All-time base-stealing record holder Rickey Henderson often used sliding gloves.
Players will generally keep batting and sliding gloves in their pants pockets when not in use, and set their fielding gloves on a shelf or other convenient place in the dugout. At one time, it was common practice to leave the fielding glove on the playing field. After that practice was outlawed due to risks to other fielders and possible interference with a live ball, players would sometimes carry their gloves in their pants pockets. That fact illustrates (1) how much larger and baggier the uniforms were at the time and (2) how much smaller the gloves were. The old adage "two hands while you're learning" was a necessity in the early years, when the glove was mostly used simply to absorb the shock of the hit or thrown ball. The glove has since evolved into a much more effective "trap", so the rules have very specific limitations on the size and shape of gloves. One-hand catches are now commonplace, although the occasional fielding gaffe by one-handers brings the old adage to mind.
Jokes used in movies and cartoons notwithstanding, throwing the glove to try to "catch" or slow down a batted ball is forbidden by the rules. When the umpire calls it, the batter is awarded an automatic triple (meaning that all runners ahead of him are allowed to score freely) and it is also a live ball, so the batter-runner has the option of trying for home if possible. Similarly, it is against the rules to take off one's cap to use it as an alternate "glove", as "All the Way Mae" (Madonna) was shown doing in A League of Their Own.
An abbreviation for general manager.
go for extra bases[edit]
(idiomatic) To strive for greater results, most commonly with sexual acts.
go to bat for (someone)[edit]
(idiomatic) To give assistance to; to defend. AHDI dates this usage to the early 1900s, the original meaning to bat as a substitute (see Pinch-hit), but transferred to a more general use of helping out one's team.[3]
"Democratic donor Denise Rich, who was persuaded to go to bat for her former husband in spite of a bitter divorce, had been bargaining with prosecutors for weeks in an attempt to work out an immunity deal." --Viveca Novak.[4]
going yard[edit]
To "go yard" is to hit a home run, i.e., to hit the ball the length of the baseball field or "ball yard". Sometimes said to be derived from Camden Yards, the home park of the Baltimore Orioles. [citation needed]
Golden Sombrero[edit]
One who strikes out four times in one game is said to have gotten a "Golden Sombrero".
Swinging at an obviously low pitch, particularly one in the dirt. Also used to describe actual contact with a pitch low in the zone.
  • A ball hit over the wall, a home run. Announcer: "That ball is gone." That's a reduction of the timeless phrase, "Going . . . going . . . gone," and of the way famed Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell would say it: "That ball is loooong gone." It wasn't necessary to pronounce the words "home run".
  • Conversely, a batter who has just been struck out, especially by a power pitcher. Used frequently by Chicago White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson, as in, "He gone!"
  • An announcer may simply announce "one gone" or "two gone" to indicate how many outs have been made in the inning. This has the same meaning as "one away" and "two away."
good hit, no field[edit]
Said to have been the world's shortest scouting report, and often quoted in reference to sluggers such as Dick Stuart and Dave Kingman, who were notoriously poor fielders.
goose egg[edit]
A zero on the scoreboard.
gopher pitch[edit]
A gopher pitch (or gopher ball) is a pitch that leads to a home run, one that the batter will "go for". Illustration from an on-line chat: "He was always that guy who'd go in and throw the gopher pitch in the first inning and he'd be two down." A game in which several home runs have been hit by both teams may also sometimes be described as "gopher ball."
grab some pine[edit]
Go sit on the bench, used as a taunt after a strikeout. Popularized by Giants sportscaster Mike Krukow.
grand slam[edit]
Home run hit with the bases loaded. A "grand salami."
Grapefruit League[edit]
The group of major league teams that conduct Spring Training in Florida, where grapefruit trees grow in abundance.
green light[edit]
Permission from the manager for a batter or runner to be aggressive. Examples include permission for the batter to swing away on a 3-0 count or for a runner steal a base.
ground ball[edit]
A ball that is hit on the ground so that it bounces in the infield. Also grounder. A bunt is not considered a "ground ball."
ground ball with eyes[edit]
A ground ball that barely gets between two infielders for a base hit, seeming to "see" the only spot where it would be unfieldable. Also seeing-eye single.
ground rules[edit]
Rules that are specific to a particular ballpark (or grounds) due to unique features of the park and where the standard baseball rules may be inadequate. See ground rules for some examples.[5]
guess hitter[edit]
A hitter who may not be the best at reading what kind of pitch is coming toward him so he guesses what the next pitch is going to be.
  • A strong arm.
  • To throw strongly. Announcer following a play in which the shortstop fields a ground ball and throws hard to first: "Guillen guns and gets him."
gun down[edit]
To throw out a runner. "Alfonso gunned him down when he tried to stretch his single to a double."
A type of curveball with a severe break. Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is said to throw a gyroball. It was designed by a couple of Japanese scientists to reduce arm fatigue in pitchers. The result was a way to throw the ball with an extreme break. Whether such a special pitch really exists remains the subject of great controversy among experts of various pedigrees.[6]


  1. ^ OED
  2. ^ David S. Broder, "All That Can Be Said for Term Limits", The Washington Post, 1 May 1996
  3. ^ Dictionray references
  4. ^ Viveca Novak, "U.S. Attorney White Keeps the Iron Hot", Time, 14 April 2001.
  5. ^ Major League Baseball posts a list of ground rules for each ballpark.[1]
  6. ^ See Jeff Passan, "Searching for Baseball's Bigfoot," Yahoo Sports (March 13, 2006)[2]; Lucas Hanft, "In Search of the Magical Mystery Pitch," Boston Globe (August 27, 2006)[3]; and David Scheinin, "Thrown for a Loop: Matsuzaka's Mystery Pitch, the Gyroball, Is an Enigma Wrapped in Horsehide," Washington Post (December 23, 2006).[4]

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